Mixes sounding flat in mono?



Just thought i’d ask on here. Recently just made a track, sounds great until I mono’d it and then it just sounded really flat. I used alot of stereo FX and delays on alot of the mono instrument tracks plus a few stereo instruments in the process too. I’ve been reading if your mix sounds good in mono then it will surely sound good in stereo.

Pretty much I was just wondering if anyone has any experience on this front? Does it mean that it’s a bad mix or what? Should I be doing something different? It really does sound alive and spacious untill I mono it…

If I was to say send off to a mastering engineer would he/she mono it and master it that way? Thus leaving my mix sounding very flat? Last thing i’d like to do is send a mix off I think sounds great only to find out by the mastering engineer it’s pish! Any thoughts on this one would be much appreciated.


Hmm, it might be easier to provide feedback if we could have a A/B listen ourselves.


Fair enough I understand that. Not really comfortable sending it to anyone for a listen yet, im weird like that… Thanks though.


I just A/B’d a track from a producer that I like and the results are similar to whats happening with mines. I guess I must be on the right track then? Who knows…


You can check your track with Izotope Ozone Imager. It’s a free plugin that shows your stereo image and let you know if it’s too wide.


Cool. Thanks, whats classed as too wide?


hi im taking a workshop that maybe answer your questions or help you to produce your track its via de waves website you have t register and just start last week



I was thinking about some hints and tricks to making the digitakt sound less flat… Any help would be appreciated…


I assume you finish it and release it as stereo.
And it seems you liked the stereo mix? So why bother if the mono sounds good? Trust your ears, if you’re happy with the stereo mix, no need to worry

What’s the point anyway listening to it in mono, when you did it stereo first?
Only makes sense to me the other way around. Mix it mono first until everything sounds good (volumes, eqs, compression) then distribute your instruments in the stereo field.


the point is that mixes DO get reproduced in mono - through people’s phone speakers, or cheap radios or even some club systems (though this is less common nowadays) so if your mix sounds truly dreadful in mono because of phase cancellation of an important part, or the fact that you have left nothing in the centre at all, then that is a bit sub-optimal.

I think it’s something to check rather than something to be completely obsessed with though - mono is a lot rarer nowadays - even on TVs etc

A mix is always going to sound flatter in mono, that’s why stereo is popular. Checking it in mono is just to check that it isn’t absolutely unrecognisable.


Are you creating your sounds and mixing via headphones or through speakers? The stereo image is much more pronounced when you’re listening over headphones as the L/R channels are very well isolated from another. This might lead to some surprises when referencing the mix in mono.
I’ve found the Digitakts reverb to be a bit difficult here; it sounds very spatial (?) in the headphones. Whenever I check the mix in mono, a lot of the space and the impact of the reverb is lost. Same - but not quite as pronounced - case with ping pong delays.

Mid/Side processing also helps to make the mono sound more like the stereo mix.


If the correlation meter (displayed on the right side) is getting into the negativ values you are getting phase problems, so some sound will be lost if you switch to mono.


Cool, thanks for the insights people. Mid/side is something ive just came across and need to understand better. I flick between headphones and speakers often, headphones for me are more for getting levels and making sure things are sitting right. Monitors are for jamming and also making sure things are sitting correctly. Always have trouble with bass with either. Something I just cannot get right! Sometimes it’s too much ( muddy ) other times it’s not enough (dead). Cant seem to get my head around that part. Other mixes I listen too sound fat on either and never really seem to clip my speakers…


It’s always good to have kick and bass in mono, to avoid trouble.

Then it really depends on your headphones /monitors and your music room. You have to get to know both things. Check how they sound (which frequencies are to loud and which are maybe too quiet). Then it’s easier to make decisions how to correct your sound.

You can use a spectrum analyzer (voxengo span i.e. is for free) to see the frequencys of your tracks and see if something is to present or not present enough).

You can also load songs which have a low end that you want to archive in your daw and see how they look and compare them to your tracks. Over the time you will become more aware and experienced of your sound.

Also room treatment would be important, but i don’t have much experience in this, too lazy :smile: